There are a bunch of meal prep delivery services out there now- Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Plated. It seems just about every day I see an ad for one pop up on my Facebook feed. I was very curious to try the service to see how the food was and how the whole process worked. I was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate for a week of Hello Fresh meals delivery and am going to share with you today our experience with Hello Fresh.
Hello Fresh prides themselves on offering delicious recipes with farm-fresh ingredients. Their flexible subscription model brings all the ingredients to your door to eliminate trips to the store. Hello Fresh also tries to eliminate food waste by providing portion sized meals. Your order comes with printed off recipes and all the ingredients you need, with the exception of olive oil, salt and pepper. Your Hello Fresh experience starts by selecting the plan you want on their website: either classic or vegetarian. The classic box includes meat and starts at $10.75 per person per meal. The vegetarian is slightly cheaper at $9.08 per person per meal. If you place your order by Wednesday at midnight, you’ll get your meals delivered starting the next week.
Delivery was something I was very curious about- I just wasn’t sure how the food was going to arrive fresh, especially the meat. I was especially nervous when I got an e-mail from UPS saying my delivery would be delayed a day due to the snow (ugh snow!). I called Hello Fresh to ask about this and they assured me it should be fine given the packaging- every item is in a cooler type box with lots of ice. In fact, though the box arrived a day late, the ice was still completely frozen and almost everything was in great condition. Only one yellow pepper was harmed en route 🙂 So, I’d say delivery lived up to my expectations.
During the week, we are always rushed to make dinner at a reasonable time after getting home from work. I like to focus on recipes that take 30 minutes or less during the week. I also like to plan our dinners out ahead of time and get groceries on Sunday to avoid multiple trips to the store during the week. Hello Fresh helped with both of these so the convenience factor for week night meals is high. Of the three recipes we received, all could be made in under 35 minutes- perfect for dinner after a long work day. By the way, don’t mind the picture quality on these photos. All pictures were actually taken at night when we ate dinner, so please don’t mind the artificial lighting! With Hello Fresh, you actually save prep time too since a lot of the dry ingredients were pre-measured. Also, using a service like Hello Fresh plans out at least three of your meals for that week and takes the nightly question of “What are we having for dinner?” out of the picture.
So fresh food delivery and convenience are great, but do they really matter if the food stinks? Of course not, the food is definitely the most important. We had three very unique dishes in our delivery: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Parsley Potatoes and Carrots, Roman Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Meatball Pho with Rice Noodles.
Of the three, MJD and I both had the same favorite- the tilapia dish. It had a great crunch to it with the panko and the cheese. It’s definitely something I could see myself making again with either a fish or even chicken. The Meatball Pho is not something I would have normally made for dinner, so we liked trying that as it was something new and different. I liked it a lot, but wasn’t really sure if I had the broth ratio right. It just didn’t seem like enough broth, but seeing as it was my first foray into making Pho, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Lastly, the Roman Chicken was also great and made a lot of food. We couldn’t eat all the pepper sauce for the chicken. I would absolutely make the Roman Chicken again, but would change out the sides.
My main complaint about the food with Hello Fresh was the sides. Both the tilapia and the chicken were served with potatoes on the side. I should probably take this time to tell you I’m not a big fan of potatoes (except for sweet potatoes). So they wouldn’t have been the sides I picked if I was making dinner. The Roman Chicken, for example, would be more my style if it was with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead of mashed potatoes. Of course this is just my personal preference, and I’m glad I now have these recipes so I can cater them to my tastes!
So all in all, would I use Hello Fresh again? Yes! It is convenient for us, the food was good and it saved me a few trips to the store which is all good stuff! The only thing I would change in the future is being more active on the website to select the exact recipes I was receiving to avoid an overload of potatoes (or another ingredient that’s not my fave).
I think Hello Fresh is great for anyone with a busy schedule, who wants to eat healthy and home cooked meals that can be made quickly. If you are interested in trying Hello Fresh after reading today, use code FJDKP5 for $40 off your order! Let me know how you like it if you do!
Have you tried a meal prep delivery service, like Hello Fresh, before? How did you like it?